1So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He camped outside the city and built siege works all around it. 2The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
3By the ninth day of the fourth25:3 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see Jer. 52:6); Masoretic Text does not have fourth. month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat. 4Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians25:4 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 13, 25 and 26 were surrounding the city. They fled towards the Arabah,25:4 Or the Jordan Valley 5but the Babylonian25:5 Or Chaldean; also in verses 10 and 24 army pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered, 6and he was captured.
He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where sentence was pronounced on him. 7They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.
8On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, an official of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down. 10The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon. 12But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields.
13The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the Lord and they carried the bronze to Babylon. 14They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. 15The commander of the imperial guard took away the censers and sprinkling bowls – all that were made of pure gold or silver.
16The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the movable stands, which Solomon had made for the temple of the Lord, was more than could be weighed. 17Each pillar was eighteen cubits25:17 That is, about 8.1 metres high. The bronze capital on top of one pillar was three cubits25:17 That is, about 1.4 metres high and was decorated with a network and pomegranates of bronze all around. The other pillar, with its network, was similar.
18The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank and the three doorkeepers. 19Of those still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men, and five royal advisors. He also took the secretary who was chief officer in charge of conscripting the people of the land and sixty of the conscripts who were found in the city. 20Nebuzaradan the commander took them all and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed.
So Judah went into captivity, away from her land.
22Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to be over the people he had left behind in Judah. 23When all the army officers and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah – Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah the son of the Maakathite, and their men. 24Gedaliah took an oath to reassure them and their men. ‘Do not be afraid of the Babylonian officials,’ he said. ‘Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.’
25In the seventh month, however, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood, came with ten men and assassinated Gedaliah and also the men of Judah and the Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah. 26At this, all the people from the least to the greatest, together with the army officers, fled to Egypt for fear of the Babylonians.
27In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. He did this on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month. 28He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honour higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. 30Day by day the king gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived.
1Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon. He marched out against Jerusalem. His whole army went with him. It was in the ninth year of the rule of Zedekiah. It was on the tenth day of the tenth month. Nebuchadnezzar set up camp outside the city. He brought in war machines all around it. 2It was surrounded until the 11th year of King Zedekiah’s rule.
3By the ninth day of the fourth month, there wasn’t any food left in the city. So the people didn’t have anything to eat. 4Then the Babylonians broke through the city wall. Judah’s whole army ran away at night. They went out through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden. They escaped even though the Babylonians surrounded the city. Judah’s army ran toward the Arabah Valley. 5But the Babylonian army chased King Zedekiah. They caught up with him in the plains near Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him. They had scattered in every direction. 6The king was captured.
He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah. That’s where Nebuchadnezzar decided how he would be punished. 7Nebuchadnezzar’s men killed the sons of Zedekiah. They forced him to watch it with his own eyes. Then they poked out his eyes. They put him in bronze chains. And they took him to Babylon.
8Nebuzaradan was an official of the king of Babylon. In fact, he was commander of the royal guard. He came to Jerusalem. It was in the 19th year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon. It was on the seventh day of the fifth month. 9Nebuzaradan set the Lord’s temple on fire. He also set fire to the royal palace and all the houses in Jerusalem. He burned down every important building. 10The whole Babylonian army broke down the walls around Jerusalem. That’s what the commander told them to do. 11Some people still remained in the city. But Nebuzaradan the commander took them away as prisoners. He also took the rest of the people of the land. That included those who had joined the king of Babylon. 12But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land. He told them to work in the vineyards and fields.
13The Babylonian army destroyed the Lord’s temple. They broke the bronze pillars into pieces. They broke up the bronze stands that could be moved around. And they broke up the huge bronze bowl. Then they carried the bronze away to Babylon. 14They also took away the pots, shovels, wick cutters and dishes. They took away all the bronze objects used for any purpose in the temple. 15The commander of the royal guard took away the shallow cups for burning incense. He took away the sprinkling bowls. So he took away everything made out of pure gold or silver.
16The bronze was more than anyone could weigh. It included the bronze from the two pillars, the huge bowl and the stands. Solomon had made all those things for the Lord’s temple. 17Each pillar was 27 feet high. The bronze top of one pillar was four and a half feet high. It was decorated with a set of bronze chains and pomegranates all around it. The other pillar was just like it. It also had a set of chains.
18The commander of the guard took some prisoners. They included Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the priest who was next in rank. They also included the three men who guarded the temple doors. 19Some people were still left in the city. The commander took as a prisoner the officer who was in charge of the fighting men. He took the five men who gave advice to the king. He also took the secretary. He was the chief officer in charge of getting the people of the land to serve in the army. And he took 60 of those people serving in the army who were still in the city. 20Nebuzaradan the commander took all of them away. He brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21There the king had them put to death. Riblah was in the land of Hamath.
So the people of Judah were taken as prisoners. They were taken far away from their own land.
22Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had left some people behind in Judah. He appointed Gedaliah to govern them. Gedaliah was the son of Ahikam. Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. 23All of Judah’s army officers and their men heard about what had happened. They heard that the king had appointed Gedaliah as governor. So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, came. So did Johanan, the son of Kareah. Seraiah, the son of Tanhumeth, also came. And so did Jaazaniah, the son of the Maakathite. All their men came too. Seraiah was from Netophah. 24Gedaliah promised to help them and their men. He spoke in a kind way to them. He said, “Don’t be afraid of the Babylonian officials. Make your homes in the land of Judah. Serve the king of Babylon. Then things will go well with you.”
25But in the seventh month Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, came with ten men. He killed Gedaliah. He also killed the people of Judah and the Babylonians who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah. Nethaniah was the son of Elishama. Ishmael was a member of the royal family. 26After he had killed Gedaliah, all the people ran away to Egypt. Everyone from the least important of them to the most important ran away. The army officers went with them. All of them went to Egypt because they were afraid of the Babylonians.
Jehoiachin Is Set Free
27Awel-Marduk set Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, free from prison. It was in the 37th year after Jehoiachin had been taken away to Babylon. It was also the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon. It was on the 27th day of the 12th month. 28Awel-Marduk spoke kindly to Jehoiachin. He gave him a place of honor. Other kings were with Jehoiachin in Babylon. But his place was more important than theirs. 29So Jehoiachin put his prison clothes away. For the rest of Jehoiachin’s life the king provided what he needed. 30The king did that for Jehoiachin day by day as long as he lived.